by Osaine Gomez-Reamer
I heard of the earthquake in Haiti on the news like most everyone. As attention to the matter grew, through my local TV station, I followed the reports and relief efforts taking place both nationally and locally. I have to admit I was a bit surprised by the involvement of Michigan-based citizens and organizations in that area. As their stories were featured, I couldn’t find myself a realistic way to get involved until I received an e-mail through MiTiN related to Kiva.org, calling for volunteer translators; its website Zafen.org was launching a micro-lending project for Haitians and needed to be translated. I didn’t hesitate, I offered, they took me in.
I was involved in the translation of three project profiles tied to the community of Jacmel, describing their purpose, needs and goals in an effort to recover and resume their business activities: A project language update needed to launch the site related to the actual workings of the website, (e.g. welcome messages, donation/loan confirmation, links, etc.) and two organizational descriptions related to the project as well.
As a person it felt good to contribute in a practical way to a project that will have a direct and positive impact on a community affected by the disaster. As a translator I was happy and satisfied to see the website up and running and it reaffirmed in me that sometimes what really counts it is not what you want to do, but what people need you to do. I’m please to be part of this ongoing experience.